Athen and Joanna were visiting Madeira for a few months and during this strange year of Covid 19, they thought that maybe here was the safest and simplest place to get legally married. However, completing the legal paperwork here is rarely simple!
They had already gathered the documents they could from their home countries, USA and Poland, but Athen was missing the document stating he could marry, as the USA do not provide this in the same way as many European countries. The option that he had been told was to travel to Lisbon to the US Embassy to receive a document that could be used, an option he was not keen on, as it meant travel during Covid times. However I managed to receive permission from the Conservatorio here in Madeira that he could make a declaration within the offices here, so the trip to Lisbon was avoided.
So we met for a coffee and they passed me all the documents they had so that I could organise having everything translated, stamped by a Notary and entered into the Conservatorio. Then we could set the wedding date.
They wanted the legal Portuguese Ceremony but also wanted privacy and some beautiful photos. So they rented an amazing AirBNB in Santa Cruz were we set up an Arch over looking the ocean.
The paperwork was completed the day before, so when the wedding day came they could relax and have space and time to prepare for their Ceremony. They had chosen not to see each other all morning and so even elopements can have that ‘first look’. After the Ceremony they went for photos on the beach, then enjoyed a relaxing afternoon in the Madeira sunshine. This day was about them, their love and their connection to each other.
So at midday on the 1st October 2020, Athen and Joanna were married. I wish them both a lifetime of love and happiness and big thank you for sharing their story and photos with me.
Wedding Planner: Becky de Sancha
Florist: CS Flowers
Photographer Andriy Petryna